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March 2008 Newsletter!

In this issue:

  • Converting a Pattern from Words to Pictures
  • Limited Edition Shepherd Sock April Color: Lily Pad!
  • April Kit of the Month: Mountain Colors and Lorna's Laces Duets
  • Turning Scarves into Throws: Scarf 5!
  • Team JBW - Meet Amber
  • Just Arrived: Berroco: Sox, NaturLin and Noni Patterns!

Click on any highlighted text to view the item in our online store!

Converting a Pattern from Words to Pictures

When the Lornas Laces Oddball Shepherd Sport arrived last month, i immediately laid claim to 2 hanks each of my 4 favorite colors (Tuscany, Black Purl, Edgewater, and Huron). Since we hadn't had the sport weight in the store lately, I had forgotten how incredibly soft it is (there is no nylon in it - unlike the sock weight). I knew I was going to knit socks with each of the colors, but wasn't sure which pattern to use (having grown tired of simple stockinette stitch socks). I thumbed through the Lorna's Laces patterns (I was using their yarn, after all!) and decided upon the Spring Blossom pattern - written specifically for their sport weight yarn.

I started knitting later that night only to realize that the 12 row pattern was going to drive me crazy (knitting at night while watching a movie and drinking a glass of wine was not going to yield flawless socks). For every row, I had to look down at the paper, find my place in the pattern, and then knit/read 1 stitch at a time. And by the time I had the pattern for that row memorized, I was already finished with the row! This was going to take forever - there had to be a better way. I resisted the urge to rip everything out and start over using just stockinette stitch...

Instead of beating my head against the wall trying to read the lines of the pattern, here's what I decided to do. I opted for creating a more visual aide - something that I could glance at and know what to do - instead of having to read it... So, I created a chart. In essence, I transformed the lines written below into the visual aide underneath (I snuck at peek at how Interweave writes charts - and used the same symbols that they do). Here's the pattern (in words):

  • Row 1: yo,k2,k2tog,k3,ssk,k2,yo,k1. Repeat around.

  • Row 2,4 and 6: k4,p3,k5. Repeat around.

  • Row 3: k1,yo,k1,k2tog,k3,ssk,k1,yo,k2. Repeat around.

  • Row 5: k2,yo,k2tog,k3,ssk,yo,k3. Repeat around.

Is it just me or does that give you a headache just reading it? Alternatively, here's the chart I made:

Create a Knitting Diagram from a Pattern

Now, doesn't that seem easier to follow (for us visual-types)? I can actually visualize the pattern - i can see that you need to do a left-slanted decrease before that 3-stitch purl section... and a right-slanted decrease after the purl section. I can also see that the yarn-overs slowly move towards the center as the rows progress. This is sooo much better for me! What do you think?
p.s. if you need a refresher on ssk and k2tog, check out our decreases instructional article! You can also view the entire Converting a Pattern from Words to Pictures article on our website (including larger pictures).

Here are some pictures of the finished product:

Create a Knitting Diagram from a Pattern Finished Product  Create a Knitting Diagram from a Pattern Finished Product 2

Kit of the Month

Every month we feature a new yarn + pattern combination at a special kit-of-the-month discount...

In honor of spring - and in prepartion for warm days and cool nights - we thought that a shrug would make for a perfect kit of the month.

So, this month we're celebrating one of the most magical knitting partnerships in history: Duets - a very colorful relationship between Lornas Laces and Mountain Colors. Create a masterpiece in color and texture to wrap your body in style and comfort. Palette of Color Shrug features an interplay of tonal harmony across coordinated colorways of heavier textured yarn and smooth fine yarn.
Use US 8 needles.

Palette of Colors Shrug
Palette of Colors Shrug (there are 5 color choices)
Normally $110, these are on sale for $87.50.
You Save $27.50!!

Limited Edition Color - Lily Pad

Lorna's Limited Edition Lily Pad
Lily Pad!

The April Lorna's Laces limited edition color Lily Pad makes us feel like playing leap frog to celebrate the beginning of spring! The colors are elegant yet still remaining fresh. Jeanne says that it reminds her of one of Claude Monet's paintings of the water lilies (in fact, we were thinking of naming it Monet's Meadow!)

Can't remember what the previous colors looked like (can you believe we're on our 9th already?)? No fear!! We've put a page together that lists all of the old ones - it's perfect for reminiscing :)
Please Note: Starting with the May color, we'll be offering the Limited Edition colors on the 1st of each month (instead of the 20th). So, visit us on May 1st to view May's Limited Edition Color.

Mac Me Patterns - Yoga Socks
Yoga Socks

With summer rolling around quickly (our roof is almost completely clear of snow!), it's time for some of us to start hitting the gym - or the yoga studio... I don't know if you're like me, but every winter i gain a few pounds - and then work all spring to take them back off (and then spend all summer promising myself that i won't let it happen next winter). Having to hit the studio gives me an excuse to knit some of these yoga socks, though, so i can't complain too much! (Use 1 hank of the Shepherd Worsted in Lilypad for these)

Essential Shell & Tank
Essential Shell & Tank

If you start right now, you can probably get this simple tank done before the neighborhood pool opens up. With lots of different options (2 necklines, 2 lengths, knit flat or in the round), you're sure to find a style that works with your summer wardrobe... You'll want 2-5 hanks of the Shepherd Worsted , but i think it'd be gorgeous in the Lion and Lamb (which has almost the same yardage).

Lake of the Woods
Lake of the Woods

In a dry climate like Tahoe, even the warmest days end in cool nights. This capelet works great as an alternative to a jacket - and can stow neatly in an oversized purse. And it's knit from its lower edge to the neckline with a self-finishing border. Use the Shepherd Worsted or Lion and Lamb.

Luscious Loungers
Luscious Loungers

Use 1 hank of the Shepherd Worsted for the short version - or 2 hanks for the tall'll love these socks that Jeanne designed. Perfect for knitting by the pool! (You'll notice that the short ones are knit from the November 2007 color Autumn Leaves.)

Doll Sweaters
18" Doll Sweaters

Some of my favorite spring and summer memories revolve around spending time with my Grandparents in Springfield, VA. Though not a knitter, my grandmother was a quilter - and tended an amazing garden. We'd spend the days picking and canning fruits - and the evenings sewing pillows and doll clothes. 20 years later, i still think of her (and of the canning and sewing we did) everytime i see little baby dolls. If you've got someone in your life that enjoys playing with dolls, consider doubling up the Shepherd Sock and knitting a few of these adorable doll sweaters. You never know what memories you might create!

Turning Scarves into Throws : Month 5

The Free Pattern for Month 5 of our 'scarves to throws' journey is finished! Knit in Huron, this super-soft scarf would be equally as gorgeous in the color Edgewater.

If you're just starting, you can find the Month 4 free pattern here, the Month 3 free pattern here, the Month 2 free pattern here, and the Month 1 free pattern here (as well as an explanation for what we're doing).

Just Arrived :: Berroco Sox, NaturLin and New Noni Patterns

Berroco Sox

Berroco Sox is a superb woolen sock yarn that patterns all by itself as you knit your socks in the round. One 100 gram ball makes a pair. Choose from an assortment of 18 engineered color patterns. All colors are $12. Try one of the patterns below!

Berroco NaturLin

NaturLin looks just like pure linen but has the supple hand of the finest cotton yarn. A rich blend of rayon and linen, each fiber imparts its best qualities to create knitting perfection. With Linen for its long staple durability and rayon for its soft and subtle sheen, this yarn will fashion lasting keepsake items in knit and crochet. Perfect for warm weather clothing, it comes in 11 shades of perfection.

Berroco NaturLin Berroco NaturLin Berroco NaturLin Berroco NaturLin Berroco NaturLin

Berroco NaturLin is $7.00 per ball - 115 yards and 50 grams. Try it for one of these projects (looking at all of this home stuff makes me want to start crocheting again!):

Crocheted Salem
Crocheted Salem

(takes 48 hanks)

(takes 11-19 hanks)

(takes 10 hanks)

(takes 9 hanks)

Noni Patterns

Nora Bellows has done it again! The Spring 2008 collection of Noni Patterns is huge - 13 patterns in all - and ranges from oven mitts to lenten roses to sack lunch bags. Our own Dannette has always been a huge Noni fan (see her grocery bag below) and i know she's going to be pleased with all of these new patterns to choose from. The question is - what will she knit first? Here are a few of my guesses....

Team Jimmy Beans...Meet Amber

Employee of the Month :: Amber

When Amber transitioned her Reno artist boutique from a storefront to online, we were lucky enough to have her join our team. She's been pulling orders and helping online customers, as well as providing comedic relief during the day. And in the Spring of 2008, she'll be introducing a line of hip knitting t-shirts!

Speaking of her boutique, I invite you all to visit Amber's website... here's a little blurb from her most recent press release:

"After 3 years of business in the downtown art district of Reno, Nevada Never Ender has closed the doors of its brick and mortar store and moved online. features clothing, accessories and art by emerging artists and designers. The focus is on one-of-a-kind, limited editions and eco-friendly items."

So check it out if you get a chance. You're sure to find something you'll love (personally, i love the typewriter key jewelry!!).

A Little 'Oddball' Lorna's Laces Left!

Just a reminder that there is a little bit left of the Lorna's Laces Millends left in stock. These colors will stay on sale at 25% off until they sell out.

As we mentioned last month, Lornas received a shipment of their Shepherd Sock, Sport, and Worsted that didn't take the dyes normally. Instead of even-coloring, the result is a bit 'swirly' - some of strands took the dye normally, while the others soaked it up a bit less. The yarn is great, but still classified as "millends," hence the discounted price (and no-return policy). Below are just a few of the enviable colors that we still have in stock:

What We're Working On

Even if i'm not working at the computer, my fingers are still going... they're just knitting instead. Same with the wonderful girls in the store! Below is a sampling of what we've gotten accomplished lately (on the knitting front, that is).

Market Bag
Dannette's Market Bag

While digging through her ever-growing stash, Dannette came across tons of Cascade 220 scraps and decided to put them to use! Using the Noni Green Earth Grocery Bag pattern, she knit and then felted this incredible market bag!

Edgewater Spring Blossom Sock(s)

One of my favorite new Lorna's Laces colors, I grabbed a few hanks of the oddball as soon as the shipment arrived. You can read all about the fun i had knitting this sock in this Instructional Article. I sure hope I am able to make it through the 2nd sock :)

Rachel's Wool Bam Boo Wrap
Rachel's Wool Bam Boo Dragon Skin Wrap

From Rachel: "The original pattern calls for a yarn that is a merino wool/bamboo mix, and the Classic Elite Wool Bam Boo was the perfect substitute. I was able to match exact gauge with the needles called for in the pattern, and it turned out wonderfully soft, with a nice drape, and a subtle sheen. I can't wait to wrap my niece up in this little sweater."

Thanks for reading and Happy Knitting!

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Jimmy Beans Wool
4850 Joule St. Ste A1
Reno, NV 89502

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